Death and the Maiden

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The play Death and the Maiden is set in the country of Chile in a time where the deep wounds of a tyrannical dictatorship were only beginning to heal. For seventeen years, Chile endured the iron-fisted rule of former army commander in chief, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte. By this time, however, the people of Chile were not at all unfamiliar with a corrupt government. The democracy that preceded Pinochet's dictatorship was also wracked with controversy. Salvador Allende Gossens, a committed Marxist, was elected in 1970 by means of a democratic election; however, he only received 36.6% of the Chilean pubic vote. This was only the beginning of the governmental hullabaloo. As time progressed, Allende's government further lost its democratic character by having repeatedly violated the Chilean Constitution. In effect, Salvador Allende's government bordered on a dictatorship as he repeatedly broke his solemn oath to respect the Constitution and the Chilean laws. This was not only obvious to the majority of Chilean citizens, but also to the House of Deputies (the Lower House of the Chilean Congress) and the Chilean Supreme Court. In the momentous Agreement of 23 August 1973, two thirds of the House of Deputies voted to take action against Allende. Since no feasible mechanism existed in the Chilean Constitution to remove a President who had lost his democratic nature, the House of Deputies, with the support of all the representatives of the Christian Democratic Party, turned action over to the Armed Forces. This was, in fact, an unequivocal call to remove President Allende. The Armed Forces, led by Commander in Chief of the Army, General Augusto Pinochet, complied with the Agreement of the House of Deputies. Eighteen days later, on 11 September 1973, Pinochet's forces successfully overthrew the government.Allende was found on a blood stained sofa with a bullet through his mouth.
What the House did not foresee was that followin…